Home made magnolia syrup….what a joy this was to make and how delicious. I used the petals of the beautiful Magnolia stellata, one of earliest trees to flower  here in the Blue Mountains. The mauve pink cups of Magnolia Soulangeana would be fine too.

Here is a quote from the website Decanter;

Although the flavour will differ slightly depending on the pigmentation of the flower, as a general rule, magnolia has the flavour of young ginger; slightly spicy with a beautiful floral quality. The whiter flowers tend to have more citrussy, cardamom notes, while the deeper fuchsia flowers get spicier and more gingery.


Magnolia stellata leaves make delicious syrup.


Magnolia soulangeana


My syrup experiment began after  I was first  told that magnolia petals are edible. I had no idea.  As noted in the Decanter quote,  the flavour is a combination  of floral tones plus spices, particularly ginger.   I had picked a bunch for the house, so while they were still fresh I stripped the branches.

To make the syrup, boil water and white sugar then add the washed  petals and gently simmer  for about twenty minutes. Leave them to steep to release all the flavour. There is a link to a detailed recipe at the end of this piece.


Strain and bottle the magnolia syrup. I had an idea for that petal pomace and the pear.

The stripped branchlets still looked good with their velvety buds, which continued to open.  I used one fresh bloom to decorate the bottle instead of a label. If you saw my handwriting you would understand why.

Magnolia syrup, the finished product.


In the spirit of  ‘nose to tail’ sustainability I used the simmered petals in the halved  pear and served it with soft cheese, water crackers and prunes.

For the cocktail, something like gin would be good, but I made do with what I had, which was golden dessert wine plus lemon lime and bitters. Garnish with a fresh petal and add a magnolia twig  swizzle stick.  Now what to call it? A friend suggested  Steel Magnolia. I’m happy to go with that.

Magnolia syrup cocktail.


The vase of now sculptural magnolia went back on the coffee table.


Finally, how about a magnolia syrup Manhattan? Far more sophisticated than my effort;


There are many detailed recipes for magnolia syrup online. CLICK HERE FOR AN EXAMPLE.

  1. This is SO delightful! I had no idea magnolia petals were edible. I don’t have a magnolia tree but the whole process sounds so delicious. A lovely piece!

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